tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 24, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EDT
end point this morning. >> i'm going to say what we were just talking about during the break, which is that will and roland were discussing the e-mails that elliott sadler reported on, talking about the fact that it was potentially terrorism in libya. >> interesting. but there's still so much more confusion when you look at t"th wall street journal" and l.a. times. we'll talk about that as the week continues. we are out of time. we'll send it right to "cnn newsroom" with carol costello. good morning. >> i appreciate that. thank you, soledad. those new e-mails and new questions of the murder of those americans in libya. suggesting the white house knew way more than what it was saying at the time. another republican candidate has to dial back comments on rape and abortion. it's a big race. and even mitt romney is forced to weigh in on this one. bias accusation. did a major bank take better care of foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods than in black and latino neighborhoods?
and is it happening where you live? tigers versus giants. it's happening tonight. we'll talk to two of their former pitching greats. jack morris, i love him. tropical storm watches up for the southeast coast of florida and maybe impacts across the entire east coast. forecast coming up. "newsroom" starts right now. good morning to you. thank you so much for joining us. i'm carol costello. we begin with new revelations that could cast a large shadow on the presidential race 13 days before the election. they involve the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in libya and new questions about what the white house knew and when it knew it. as you might remember, the obama administration has been under
fire for being slow to label the military-like siege an act of terrorism. four americans died in that attack, including the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens. here's the latest. cnn has obtained government e-mails showing that just two hours -- just two hours after the attack, both the fbi and the statdepartmentere told that ane llamaist group was taking credit. here is one of those e-mails. embassy tripol ireports the group claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter and has called for an attack on embassy tripoli. the chairman of the house intelligence committee. >> this is clearly a place where they had wanted to have some terrorist success on the compound. what you saw in e-mails in that real time was a real description. if you notice, there was no talk of demonstrations or other things. it was clearly very early identified with a terrorist affiliate. >> zain verjee covers the state
department for us. she joins us now from london. first question, how accurate is intelligence moments after an attack like this, in spite of those e-mails? >> intelligence experts will tell you, carol, in an event like that, of an attack or any kind of disaster situation, you're often going to get a lot of mixed reports coming in. what they say is that they analyze it, pass it along but they treat it very, very cautiously. that's the first thing to understand about a situation like this. because you never really sure, but what these e-mails actually shed light on is that there's a cloer i clear indication that the white house was aware that there was a connection to terrorism. >> that is the doozy of my next question. give us a sense of how this type of intelligence, including the e-mails, are passed along to the president. how many details would he have known, and then the vice president, too? >> it's likely that both the president and the vice president would have been briefed. now whether or not they saw the
specific e-mails, the specific times they came in, that's a question mark. and that's probably unlikely. they probably would have been kept briefed and in the time that this information was coming through. now if you look at one of the e-mails stamped 6:07 eastern time. on that particular e-mail, the white house situation room's address is on it. there's a subject line that says update two, ansar al sharia claims responsibility for the benghazi attack. at that moment there was a clear indication in one of those e-mails and it's likely the president would have been briefed. all of this is so significant right now. firstly, it sheds light on what happened in benghazi, but it's also become part of this very volatile, political debate. the question that's going to be asked all day today and at the white house is why did you not come out and say that there was a clear link to terrorism that was planned when you knew two hours, and these e-mails are
proof -- rather than come up with the video story, saying it was triggered by an anti-islam video. i want to underscore, too, cautiousness in a situation like that may have been what were on their minds. >> it's already started, zain, t too. in light of this new information, everybody is wondering, will mitt romney pounce? when will all the presidents men and women say about what they knew when? we already know what obama's u.s. ambassador to the united nations said five days after the attack. >> putting together the best information that we have available to us today. our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. >> all right. what's the white house saying today? chief white house correspondent jessica yellin joins us by phone from davenport, iowa.
the white house has responded. whr they saying? >> reporter: they are telling me this is not, as you describe it an intelligence assessment at all. what it is is reporting from the ground by people there at the state department center, explaining what they're getting information on as it comes in. ansar al sharia took credit on its facebook page that was publicly available. so they passed that on in an e-mail saying that ansar al sharia is taking credit on its facebook page. then they subsequently deny ied responsibility in a statement that they also were forwarded. only that e-mail and that information came across obviously. and so there is all sorts of conflicting information that comes in, in the moments and hours after this kind of attack. and the president isn't going out with the kind of open
information that comes in from this kind of source, which is not an intelligence report, but bases what he said on the actual intelligence reports, which are analyzed and decided by intelligence professionals and that they're two very different things. and that they maintain that they were being truthful and forthright with the public based on what he was getting from the intelligence community and intelligence professionals, carol. >> i'm sure much more will come out on this subject matter later in the day. jessica yellin, reporting live for us. another day, another explosive p controversy. this representative saying life is a gift from god even if that life begin with his rape. >> i believe life begins at conception. the only time i think abortion is okay is when it will save the
mother. even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape it is something that god intended to happen. >> after the debate, mourdock backed off the comments and said rape is a horrible thing and people are twisting his words. the people who are twisting his words are absurd and sick. even so his comments erupted online. democrats quick to pounce. don't you know it, mitt romney endorsed richard mourdock for senate just a couple of days aago. >> this fall i'm endorsing richard mourdock for senate. made government more accountable. as senator, richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. >> our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is in new york this morning. democrats say romney should denounce mourdock.
will he? >> it's unclear if this will happen at this point. he certainly did distance himself from mourdock. i can show you a quote from the romney campaign. andrea saul says governor romney disagrees with richard mourdock a's comments and they do not reflect his views. they don't, because the governor does believe there should be an exception for rape when it comes to abortion. the other reason they put that out is women are pretty much the number one target of both campaigns in these couple of weeks and the last thing the romney campaign wants is distraction in a state that was like a gimme. when it comes to mourdock in particular, you remember what happened with todd ackin about rape and the republican party
came down on him like a hammer and tried to push him out. that is not happening in this case. primarily because they are very different kinds of comments. that is a point i heard from republicans this morning. it is a point that the head of the committee trying to reflect as well. i'll read what he said. as well. to try to construe his words as anything other than a restachlt of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous. in fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have, i commend congressman donnelly for his support of life. congressman donnelly is the democrat running for senate in indiana, somebody who is anti-abortion and even supported the so-called akin amendment back in congress. it is a different kind of issue and is he not being thrown under the bus as todd akin did,
because republicans believe he truly did just not speak correctly about something that many, many republicans believe in, which is there should not be exception for rape when it comes to abortion. >> dana bash, reporting live from new york this morning. presidential marathon is now a sprint to the finish as barack obama and mitt romney crisscross the country, trying to persuade voters they are the best choice for america and it's getting nasty. >> this is about trust. there is no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust. the person who leads this country, you've got to have some confidence that he or she means what he or she says. that if they tell you they're going to do something or that this is what they believe, that they're going to actually try to do it. >> look at thebama campaign. it's reduced t talking about
smaller and smaller things. they're talking about saving characters on sesame street. they're talking about silly word games. day in and day out there's one it can after the other and attacks on us, that does not make an agenda for the future. >> okay. so ponder this. something elusive, mythical and never realized could actually happen. an electoral tie. wouldn't that be awful? john avalon is the senior political columnist for newsweek, daily beast. that meeps we could wake up the day after and endure the agony of no one winning. say it ain't so. >> reporter: oh, it could be so. it's unlikely, but tess possible the morning after the election, our long national nightmare would not be over, that this would go on, in fact, until december 17th when the electoral college meets. this is a nightmare scenario, but it is possible.
269-269, both candidates deadlocked, neither reaching that magical 272 electoral vote mark. there are ways it could happen. not only states splitting their electoral vote but, for example, if president obama were to win states like virginia, but romney were to win florida and ohio, mathematically, it could happen. then it would be decided -- the election would be decided both by members of the electoral college and the house of representatives. remember, right now tess controlled by republicans. so all of a sudden, this would get ugly fast. and it's only happened once before in our country in 1824, corrupt barrigain that elected john quincy adams president. it has happened. it is unlikely, but, boy, would it be ugly. >> it's like thinking about it makes my head explode. there are other more fun ways of picking the president. spirit halloween, the nation's largest seasonal halloween retailer says obama will win the election because, frankly, the
obama halloween mask is outselling the romney magazine mask and then the coffee cup poll at 7-eleven. these are silly polls, but, i don't know, history -- >> they are the opposite of scientific. i think that's fair to say. if your looking for some underlying indicator besides who make makes a better halloween mask, president obama has been, to some extent, a pop culture president. figure of pop culture fascinati fascination. that was certainly true in 2008, and it continues. mitt romney's argument has been less about the transformation of him as president as it is of kicking president obama out of office. i'm not concerned how these 7-eleven cups and halloween masks might edge toward -- but it's a fun measure. >> we have to brighten up this
election because it's turned so negative. john avlon, thank you. we appreciate that. we have to talk about big bird. he has become big this election season and big business this halloween. demand for the giant yellow costumes are through the roof after the sesame street character with his mentioned in the debate. they don't expect to have any more before halloween because its big bird costumes are made in china. a tropical storm named sandy is getting stronger. now, that's what i call a test drive.
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astrazeneca may be able to help. 18 minutes past the hour. the government agrees to a cease fire for an upcoming holiday. syrian rebels have also agreed to the quote, principle of a cease fire. here at home, usair w airwa baggage handler is under arrest, accused of stealing $20,000 worth of new $100 bills that were about being shipped to a federal reserve. 25-year-old alex price confessed and led law enforcement to the
money, which they say was cause stashed in his car. january 2nd, consumer financial protection bureau will oversee and regulate the largest u.s. collection agencies. the bureau's director says the group wants to make sure that 30 million americans facing debt collection are fa treated fairly. bank of america is accused of doing a better job of maintaining foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods than in black and latino neighborhoods. alison kosik joins us from the new york stock exchange. >> filed a complaint with the department of housing of urban development. the group is now adding more cities, three more cities to this growing list of places that bank of america is accused of discriminating against. it accuses b of a of taking
better care of foreclosed homes in woit neighborhoods compared d with minority ones. what the aalliance said it did to figure this out was did an undercover investigation and found boarded up windows, trash and overgrown grass, aall that stuff was much more common in those minority areas and there were fewer for sale signs up on those properties as well. as i said, the list is really growing of where this is happening. this week's update added chicago, indianapolis and milwaukee to the list, bringing the total number of cities in the complaint to 13. they include lant atlanta, washington, d.c., orlando, among others. carol? >> of course, you could see why people would be so upset about this, especially if you're black or latino. not only because of discrimination. >> of course. >> it brings down your housing value. >> oh, sure. it makes it harder for people who live in these areas to sell their homes and it's aa health and safety risk when you hear what's happening at some of these homes. bank of america's failure to take care of and properly
maintain these homes are crippling the economy in the hardest hit communities. i want to show you a side by side look at the difference in the white neighborhood and minority neighborhood. we can put that up. there are foreclosed homes in grand rapids, michigan. the one on the left, if we can pull that up there. the one on the left is in the white neighborhood. nicely manicured lawn there. a for sale sign. the house looks in pretty good condition. the one on the right is from a minority neighborhood. mold growing on the home, leaves, trash, and no for sale. aalliances had an entire slide show of these comparisons across the country. telling the chicago tribune we strongly deny their allegations and stand behind our property maintenance and marketing practices. carol? >> just makes me sad. >> i know. >> alison kosik, thanks so much. some trick-or-treaters in the northeast might need an umbrella for halloween, depending on the track of tropical storm sandy, bearing
down in jamaica with winds near 70 miles per hour and she's forced -- forecast to become a hurricane later today before heading toward cuba. after that, things could get very interesting. meteorologist rob marciano is here to tell us how interesting they could get. >> lot of different options, carol. let's go over the first one, which we're most kerped about and certainly most confident with. serious storm to strike kingston, jamaica. winds of 70 miles an hour. satellite imagery showing some probably intensification. we expect it to become a hurricane before it hits jamaica. already winds and waves are battering that coastline. eastern cuba also hurricane warning up and tropical storm watches now up for southeastern florida. we don't expect a direct hit. here is the path it will be large enough, the wind field, to where we'll have winds and wave across the southeastern coastline of florida and also the midatlantic. aafter this weekend is what really becomes interesting and
confusing as far as our computer models are concerned. some go out to sea. some bring it in one way, shape or form into the northeast, a hybrid storm or piece of energy. either way it will be a high impact storm up and down the coastline. it's a matter of how close it comes. tropical storm tony, busy season. still hurricane season right on through thanksgiving. >> i know you'll keep an eye on it for us. rob marciano, thank you. talk back question for you today, do candidates a'comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? facebook.com/carolcnn. the wheels of progress. seems they haven't been moving much lately. but things are starting to turn around because of business people like you. and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together.
now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. do candidates' comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? it's de ja vu all over again, and not in a good way. just when republicans thought they slammed the door on the so-called war on women, richard mourdock may have kicked it open again. >> the only exception i have for -- to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. i just -- i struggled with it myself for a long time. but i came to realize life is
that gift from god and i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that god intended to happen. >> democrats called mourdock's comment a window into the extreme view of the world. one man told the indianapolis star because of mourdock's uncon sh shun -- unconcionable comments. >> god does not want rape and by no means was i suggesting that he does. rape is a horrible thing. and for anyone to twist my words is a sick thing. >> this fall i'm supporting richard mourdock for senate. as state treasurer, he worked with governor daniels to balance the budget and make government more accountable. aas senator, richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. richard will help stop the
liberal reid/pelosi agenda. >> romney is distancing himself from mourdock a's most recent comments. gop strategists telling our dana bash that mourdock's he comments are way less worse than, say, todd akin's, who spoke of a magical uterus that could prevent pregnancy after rape. the real question is whether any of this will affect the race between romney and obama. so the talk back question today, do candidates' comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? facebook.com/carolcnn. facebook.com/carol cnn. your comments later this hour. voters in ohio are nearly evenly split. we'll talk to the editor of the largest newspaper there to talk
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30 minutes past the hour now. good morning to you. thank you for being with us. i'm carol costello. stories we're watching right now in "the newsro newsroom," the o bell rang moments ago. the dow lost 234 points yesterday on disappointing earnings. good economic news out of china and today's new home sales numbers could help the rebound. ringing the opening bell, ceo of business insider website. kennedy nephew will face his very first parole hearing later today. michael skakel, the nephew of robert kennedy, has spent ten years in prison for the 1975 murder of a teenage neighbor, martha moxley.
her family wants skakel to serve at least another 10 years of his 20 to life prison sentence. national academy of sciences in california shows diesel fuel is more dangerous to the environment than regular gasoline. elements of diesel fuel are major components of smog. diesel fuel accounts for 21% of on-road fuel use in the united states. thankfully, we're in the final stretch of the presidential campaign, both candidates going full speed ahead to election day. president obama is currently on a multi-state blitz over the next fou days. no surprise, mitt romney will be making appearances in those critical swing states as well. one thing is for sure. the ground game in all of these state sincere essential. john king called it a political game of chess the campaigns play, strategically moving their pieces around, based on the latest polls. cnn's political editor paul steinhauser joins me now.
good morning. >> good morning. it is a race for those states and their electoral votes. most of these states we're not interested in. why? we know how it will end on election day. seven to ten states are in play. on our cnn map we currently have nine. it's really in flux. where do you put the candidates? things to look at in this chess game, trips by the candidates, where do the candidates go? where do the running mates go, where do their surrogates go? it's very important where you put these people. also tv ads, radio ads very important. with two weeks to go, what markets do you put them up in? where don't you put them up? the ground game, where do you put your campaign staffers, people who will make sure your base gets out the vote, carol. >> what are the specific concerns for campaigns on the ground as far as what president obama must say, what mitt romney must say. >> and this is something we're really looking at. it is a game of chess. some of the big questions right
now in these states where do you spend your money? where do you put them? one of the states is north carolina. obama campaign is still advertising there. the president has not campaigned on the ground in north carolina since he was there for the convention back in early september. is it over in north carolina? i think the romney campaign foals very confident they're going to win the state. the obama campaign says no, it is not over in north carolina. nevada, just the opposite, democrats are confident there. is it over? maybe not. where is mitt romney today? rechlt reno, nevada. where was he yesterday? las vegas. will the map shrink or expand? will the obama campaign try to shrink the map, giving up in a state or two? maybe, maybe not. will mitt romney try to expand the map in michigan or pennsylvania? possibly, but both those states seem to be safe in the obama camp. carol, things are changing by day. >> they sure are. paul steinhauser, thanks for the insight. we appreciate it. when it comes to swing
states some people call ohio the big one. the state has picked the winning candidate in the last 11 elections, a fact not lost on this year's ticket. >> ohioans, you have such a huge say so in all of this. ohio is the battleground of battleground states. >> folks, we need you! we need you! together we can win ohio. we win ohio, we win the election! >> whoa! joining me now is joe froelich, editor for the ohio plain dealer, the largest paper in ohio. the plain dealer is backing president obama on the basis of sound leadership. i'm not sure it's an enthusiastic endorsement, is it? >> compared to four years ago when there was a great optimism in the country and state about what could happen despite the fact that we clearly seemed to be going no a recession at the time, probably a little less
optimistic. we have a better sense of what the nation and the president are up against in term of the economic wins at home and abroad as well as the absolute rec aalcitrareca recaalcitr aants. we still think on balance that he did a pretty good job and that compared to his challenger, he's the right choice for the country and for ohio. >> down south, the columbus dispatch, another big newspaper in ohio endorsed mitt romney. i want to read to you what they said. obama has failed. american americans made a leap of faith when they elevated the inexperienced obama to the white house. that faith was not rewarded. this time voters should place their hope for change in experience by electing romney. that is pretty brutal.
and i know you just said that you almost endorsed mitt romney. so why didn't you? >> well, first, i would say that the dispatch is a pretty dependably on the editorial side a republican paper. you need to put that in perspective. >> true. >> with regard to romney -- you know, there was a discussion, vigorous discussion within our editorial board. one of our issues would be was which mitt romney would be we be endorsing, mitt romney who was a relatively liberal candidate, who ran against ted kennedy for the senate in 1994, the pragmatic moderate who was elected governor of massachusetts in 2002 and who governed there, doing clean air investments and supporting stem cell research and doing the health care reform? would we be endorsing, as he described himself, severely conservative person who ran the republican primaries or this more moderate version who has emerged since the debates started? not knowing what you were
getting, that made it very difficult for us in the end to come down on mr. romney's side. >> one more thing i would like to ask you about, the reverend billy graham, he sat down with mitt romney recently and took out a full-page ad in the columbus dispatch, republican-leaning newspaper. and he seemingly endorsed romney. this is a quote from the ad. he said i strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freed freedoms. aas you know the president came out in favor of same-sex marriage. will this issue resonate in ohio? >> i'm not sure how much it resonates. that ad also ran in the plain dealer this week. i think you're talking about the ground game before. this is really about wallying the base, making sure that republican -- particularly evangelical christians who histo historically have been somewhat
skeptical of mormons, to make sure they are energized and excited when they get to the polls. republicans will tell you that's very, very important, that they didn't get the turnout from that group even in 2000. in 2004 when they had a fabulously successful ground game in ohio, they did a great job of identifying those value voters, they would call themselves, and getting them to the polls. getting that kind of ad from the reverend billy graham, revered person in that community is the effort. campaigning from the couch. president obama heads to "the tonight show." do all those talk show paerpss really sway you, the voter?
failed to medal at the olympics. i know hardship. >> my man, mitt, just has clint eastwood, donnie and marie osmond, the lady from northern exposure and i want to say joy beh aar's older sister. >> it's binding. >> binders full of women. >> book of broads, note bok of nipples, whatever. >> is it more than mere entertainment? the impact of late-night comedy on voters shouldn't be ignored. >> just like traditional news, news analysis, the debates, the conventions, political advertising all shape how people make sense of politics and make sense of the candidates. so, too, does the daily show and colbert report and "saturday night live." >> conducting viewer surveys to analyze how these shows influence voters. they do play an important educational role. >> forthcoming study that finds
people gain factual knowledge from the daily show particularly when they approach the show as news rather than purely entertainment. >> true insights to study the impact of late-night humor. its research concluded this half of voters age 32 and younger frequently use political satire shows like colbert, stewart and snl to follow politics and the election. 37% use shows like letterman and leno for the same purpose. recognizing the significance of these shows, candidates have made several appearances on them. president obama recently sat down with jon stewart for a mostly substantive interview, along with a few jokes. >> we have been speaking now for, i think, a good 12 to 14 minutes. >> yes. >> and i'm curious, how many e-mails during that time do you think your campaign has sent me? >> it depends on whether you have maxed out -- >> no political figure has felt
the negative impact of late-night humor more than sarah palin, tina fey's impersonation of her on snl became a defining caricature. >> and i can see russia from my house. >> palin never said those words exactly but it stuck thanks to funny fey. >> mr. vice president, i know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but i think the people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other. >> you don't scare me, shark eyes. >> i was laughing during your story. so many funny moments. >> how could you not laugh? >> if what you said in your story is true, obama should be beating romney by a lot. >> you would think, right? you know, there's definitely no question that they rely on these late-night shows to perhaps help them where it really matters. at the end of the day, shows like "the tonight show" "colbert
report" and "the daily show are hosted by comedians. they often see these candidates on the campaign trail, stump speeches, setting where more often than not show the politician, not the person. these shows offer humor, where they can lighten up and perhaps share some laughs. that's where appearances can have an impact. the president will be on leno tonight. also michelle obama tomorrow on jimmy kimmel. they're hoping to connect with the american people however, whatever we they can. >> k aareen wynter, thank you very much.
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starti at 8:00 eastern. you won't see these guys on the mound tonight but certainly will remember their world series starts, jack 2002 world series. welcome to you both. >> good morning, carol. >> thank you. >> so excited for you guys to be here. is that a real world series trophy? >> it's the 2012 trophy. it's going to go to one of the two teams. >> we're hoping it's the giants here. >> he's hoping. >> oh i just wish i could touch it. is it heavy? >> it is heavy. it's quite a nice thing. they've got -- they treat it with gloves, like another trophy that goes around the country. >> we can't touch it or we'll get in trouble. >> i understand. you wouldn't want to drop it and hurt anyone. i understand perfectly. jack, i'd like to start with you. i'll be honest about it, i'm a big detroit tigers fan. sorry, kirk, just had to have full disclosure here. but i want to talk about the
comparisons between the stars of the two teams. they both have these crusty, traditional managers, jim leyland and bruce bochy and players with lots of personality. but i want to talk about justin verlander, because he's a workhorse, just as you were. and he's on fire this season. >> yeah. >> so -- >> he really is. he's kind of setting the bar right now for all pitchers in baseball. he's one of the most talented young pitchers that's come along in a long, long time. and right now he's on top of his game. i think he's got a burning desire inside of him to get that last little tidbit of his resume. and that would be the world championship ring. >> do you think kate upton will be in the stands? >> not concerned about that. >> i would be, if i were justin verlander. but that's a whole another story. kirk, let's talk about barry zito. quite a comeback, pitching great. >> he's done an outstanding job this year. i think the whole organization is happy for him.
you know, 2010, he didn't get to pitch in any of the postseason games. he definitely turned it around the other night with the big start in st. louis, and i'm looking forward to it tonight, going out and doing what he did the other night, and having a good game and keeping the giants right there. >> let's talk about the hitters now. each team has a bona fide mvp candidate but neither guy was the mvp in the two league championship series. it was young and scutaro. on a team like the tigers with prince fielder, that's kind of surprising, isn't it, jack? >> well, what mickey has done this summer hasn't been done since '67 when yaz did it. the triple crown is quite an achievement in baseball. and he, without question, in my mind is the mvp of the american league. and hopefully he's going to do a little damage in detroit this series. >> and i want to talk about marco scutaro, kir because he has just been amazing. he has swung and missed on only 2 of 43 pitches thrown to him. that's like insane.
so. >> yeah. >> has justin verlander -- facing him tonight, does he worry? >> he's pretty locked in tonight. i know the giants are comparing it to when will clark in the '89 nlcs, how locked in he was against the cubs. so it's hard to get him out. he's taking the ball to right field, inside pitches, he's pulling down the line. he had a big double against carpenter the other night. and when you're in one of those zones, you just want to keep playing and hopefully it's going to help the giants. they just had the one day, and they can get right back at it tonight. >> and i want to talk about something else that will take place during tonight's game, stand up for cancer. kirk, i know you lost both of your parents to cancer, and jack, you were friends with harmon killebrew who lost his fight to cancer. tell me more about this night and this program, stand up for cancer, and what it means to you personally, jack. >> well, i think it's just a crazy world we live in, that we haven't figured out a way to solve it. and baseball joined up withstand up to cancer to try to find a
cure. and it's a great thing, so many people suffer from this, both the people that die -- the families involved, friends involved. so anything that baseball can do, certainly, is partnered up with a great, great cause. >> so kirk, what are you asking fans to do tonight? >> it's just a great program. just to stand up with major league baseball tonight during game one and, you know, i'm sure you know somebody that's been affected by cancer, or, you know, in my instance personally, both my parents passing away. just to help major league baseball tonight. and that's what this game one is about. and to just rise up and help fight against cancer. >> yeah. baseball transcends so many things. thank you so much for being with us. it was really exciting for me to talk to you both. kirk reader and jack morris, thank you so much. >> go tigers. >> thank you. giants. >> sorry, kirk. go, tigers. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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no, because it's the opinion of one person, and not the collective congress or senate. everyone is entitled to their own opinion. this from cathy. absolutely no politician has the right to talk about a woman's body or what she chooses to do with it. my body is my property and no one else's business. this from louise. this country offers more freedom than any in the world to women. there is no war on women. do you really believe that women in america are so stupid? keep the conversation going. facebook.com/carolcnn. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" after a break.
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happening now in the "newsroom," new e-mails and new questions about the murder of four americans in libya. cnn uncovers e-mails suggesting the white house knew way more than it was saying at the time. controversy on the campaign trail. another republican candidate has to dial back comments on abortion. it's a big race that even mitt romney is forced to weigh in on this one. and the health of the housing market.
a new snapshot this hour. will it be good news for buyers and sellers? "newsroom" starts now. and good morning to you, thank you so much for being with us. i'm carol costello. we begin with new revelations that can cast a large shadow on the presidential race, just 13 days before the election. they involve the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in libya, and new questions about what the white house knew and when it knew it. as you might remember, the obama administration has been under fire for being slow to label the military-like siege an act of terrorism. four americans died in that attack, including the u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens. here is the latest. cnn obtained government e-mail showing two hours after the attack, both the fbi and the state department were told that an islamist group was taking
credit. here's one of those e-mails. quote, embassy tripoli reports ansar al sharia claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter and called for an attack on embassy tripoli. and the white house is down playing the e-mail, saying they were not an intelligence assessment, but merely public information that reflected some of the conflicting reports. the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee ain't buying it. >> this was clearly a targeted place. this is somewhere they wanted to have some terrorist success on the compound. what you saw in the e-mails was a real description. and if you notice, there was no talk of demonstrations or other things. and it was clearly very early identified with a trista fill i can't tell. >> our next guest is a "new york times" reporter who spoke to a suspected ring leader of the attack in benghazi who longed to the group mentioned in the e-mails, ansar al sharia. thank you, david, so much for being with us this morning.
>> it's a pleasure. i should say, when i spoke with him, mr. ahmad kutella, he said he wasn't officially apart of that group but head of another brigade closely allied with it. same idea. >> same idea. i wanted to ask about this claim of responsibility, because just because a group makes a claim of responsibility doesn't necessarily mean that group is to blame, right? >> yeah. but i also question whether they actually made this claim of responsibility. the very next day, they held a press conference they posted on their facebook page saying they were not responsible. although it wasn't a very convincing denial, because they also praised the attack, and they parsed it very carefully and said we as an institution did not order the attack, blah, blah, blah. at the same time, you know, okay, take claim and credit for it. doesn't mean they didn't it. but more important, a lot of people outside the attack saw the attack, and saw members of ansar al sharia pull up in
trucks with the ansar al sharia logo on the sides. it's not that much of a mystery to say they played at least a leading role in the attack. in many ways, these e-mails sound to me like they're apocrophal. our colleagues would have known about it, repeated. but at the same time, i don't mean to say there is not something funny here, because the attack was pretty much in broad daylight. a lot of people saw it happening, a lot of people saw ansar al sharia playing a role. and there were guards, american guards, inside the compound apparently on the phone with washington during the attack. according to the state department. >> so what should we make of these e-mails? >> my guess is, there probably were some people in tripoli trying to figure out what the heck was going on in benghazi. they were probably sorting through a lot of conflicting information and making the best of it.
everybody knew ansar al sharia was a likely suspect, so it wouldn't be very hard to imagine them hearing secondhand that ansar al sharia was involved or taking credit. the former security chief in libya testified to congress, he suspected ansar al sharia from the moment the attack began, because he had been watching for a while. so it's not hard to imagine they might have gotten mixed up in it tripoli and sent it on to washington. >> interesting. thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate it. david kirk patrick from the "new york times". in light of this information, will mitt romney pounce and what will all the president's men and women say about what they do wen? jessica yellin joins us by phone from davenport, iowa, as president obama's first campaign stop of today. so two questions for you. will the president talk libya and will he now have to fire someone? >> reporter: hi, carol. i expect that the president is going to focus here on his message on jobs and the economy.
and that is his closing message. he will probably -- we are getting some response from the white house about this libya story, and it's a lot of what you just heard from kirk patrick there, which is that they were getting conflicting reports that this was one of many things they were hearing in chaotic hours after the attack, and the president based his public comments on what he was getting from the intelligence community. we are all going to continue to question and probe why their story remained what it did for so long. but as for these specific e-mails, as he points out, we have also confirmed they initially took credit in the group and then denied credit and there were many other stories going on. there were even public reports of protests that were conveyed to the white house. so i think as the president has maintained, their position is they were getting many conflicting stories.
and they based his story on what he was getting from the intelligence community. do i think someone will get fired? no. i think we are in the final closing days of the election, and we should look at these leaked e-mails for what they are, which is part of an ongoing election campaign effort to make this part of the story in the closing days of this season when foreign policy -- now this is -- it's being marred by this tragic -- tragedy of these americans. >> jessica yellin reporting live this morning. now more on the race for the white house. the campaign heats up and the key battleground state of florida, the race is razor-thin. taken last week before the final debate, mitt romney leads barack obama by one percentage point. and as you know, that's well within the polls' margin of error. chief business correspondent ali velshi is in lakeland, florida, where the tigers have spring training. tiger town is there. have you visited yet? >> reporter: i haven't,
actually. i've seen it, but haven't gone. i'm busy talking to voters, carol. >> oh, right. >> reporter: this place, polk county, is split, same number of democrats and republicans registered. same number of undecideds. this is sort of the story in florida. 29 electoral votes. i'm asking people who i can find who have not decided why they haven't decided yet. they're not apathetic, they're not unattached, they are just trying to get some answers. listen to two people i spoke to. >> i'm basically looking for something that is motivated towards me and the majority of the people that i see. because i'm not up at the white house. i don't see rich people all of the time. but i see a lot of poor people. as far as romney, i'm not sure. i'm looking for more. i mean, we're talking about another four years. so four years, can i go through another four years of this, can i go through another four years of that? it's really critical right now. for -- to make the best decision. >> you know, it's not an
american value to act like we are, no matter what, we are so perfect and we are so righteous that we want the rest of the world to be just like us. you know? i think that that is a mistake. i think we lead by example. and not by this tough guy, you know, we're going to force our values down the rest of the world. i think there's a real danger in that, frankly. >> reporter: so the point, carol, is -- you would appreciate it down here. you're someone who doesn't like platitudes, correct answers, that's what the voters are asking for. direct answers. tell me how it's going to happen. don't put out goals and more goals without telling me how it's going to come to pass. overwhelmingly, even though the last woman was speaking about foreign affairs, most people are concerned about the economy. housing and foreclosures continue to be the big concern in florida.
that will change as i move north, 1,800 miles all the way to ohio, which you know a lot about. but for now, florida, it's housing and the economy, carol. >> i'm wondering about something. early voting is going on in so many states across the country. do these last-minute campaign blitzes even matter? >> reporter: well, they do. they do, because these undecided voters really are undecided. some will take until the last minute, and they want specific things. i don't know that these blitzes where they come out with more generalities -- you and i talked about that glossy pamphlet that president obama came out with yesterday. i don't think that's giving people the answers they need. so i don't know exactly where they're going to get them. here in florida, everywhere you go, there are these super pac bill boards, every tv commercial, radio commercial, is an ad. i don't know that they're getting the answers. but something will matter. there are real votes to be won. the other thing here in florida, get out the vote operation. the ground operation is going to matter a lot. >> oh, yeah. ali velshi, thanks so much. reporting live from lakeland, florida. another day, another controversy own rape and abortion. this time an indiana candidate
endorsed by mitt romney said life is a gift from god, even if that life is created through rape. >> i believe that life begins at conception. the only exception i have for -- to have an abortion is in that case, the life of the mother. i struggled with it myself for a long time. but i came to realize, life is that gift from god, and i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> after the debate, mourdock backed off his comments said rape is horrible and people twisting his words are sick. even so, it reenergized so-called war on women. democrats quick to pounce, because mitt romney endorsed richard mourdock for senate just a few days ago. >> this fall, i'm supporting richard mourdock for senate. as state treasurer, richard
worked with daniels to balance the budget and made government more accountable. as senator, richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. >> our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash is in new york. what are you hearing from the romney camp? >> reporter: well, they put out a statement from romney's spokeswoman last night, distancing the governor from those statements. and i'll read you the quote. she said, governor romney disagrees with richard mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views. he's able to say that, because it's true. they don't reflect his views. as you just heard from mourdock, he was answering a question in this debate about why he does not believe that there should be an exception for rape. that is something that governor romney believes in. so there he's on safe political territory. safe ground. but then, of course, there is the issue that you brought up, rightly so, carol, which is that war on women. the romney campaign is trying to get as many women as they can,
so much of every word that they utter, the way they utter them, is directed at getting women out to vote for him. so this definitely cannot help, particularly since democrats are pounding away, saying they want romney to take that ad down, and to take back his endorsement. >> we'll see what happens. what about other republicans, though? are they willing to stick with mourdock? >> reporter: so far, yes. you remember what happened when todd akin, the republican candidate in missouri, made his comments effectively saying that a woman's body is able to repel pregnancy after a rape, which, of course, is just actually, biologically not true. republicans threw him under the bus. and what they're saying, this is very much a different case right now. i talked to a senior republican strategist who said people just don't agree with todd akin, it's just not accurate. but in this case, he was explaining something that many republicans do believe, which is that there should not be an exception for abortion in the case of rape. and i want to read you what john cornen, the head of the national
republican senatial said. to try and construe his words is ridiculous. rather than condemning his position, as some in his party have when it's come to republicans, i commend congressman donnelly for his support of life. congressman donnelly, carol, is the democrat running against mourdock. he is in the very conservative state of indiana, a anti-abortion democrat. so you have two people who virtually believe the same thing, so it's not a clear-cut discussion or debate when it comes to the issue of abortion. but you bet democrats are trying to jump big-time on this, because it worked pretty well for them when it comes to women and women voters over the summer when todd akin made his comments. although i think it is fair to say, these are very different kinds of comments. >> they are. dana bash, reporting live from new york. coming down to the wire, every vote in the swing state is critical. and president obama still faces an uphill battle, trying to attract white voters.
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this is good breaking news. it's good. new home sales for the month of september have just been released, and they show 389,000 homes sold last month. that's the most homes sold since april of 2010. hooray. alison kosik is live at the new york stock exchange to tell us more. >> reporter: it's more evidence the momentum for the recovery in the housing market is still sticking in there. holding on. new home sales we found out went up by 5.7% in september, carol. that number coming in much stronger than expected. when you look in the report, it shows that the biggest increase in sales was really in the southern part of the u.s. also, it's not just sales. prices are also going up. the median price of a new home is now just over $242,000. once again, it's really just another piece, showing the housing recovery is holding on. and to be honest, it's a small piece, because new home sales make up about -- 10% of the housing market, compared to 90% for previously owned. but this is an important gauge
we watch, because the reality is, what it does is creates a ripple effect throughout the economy. for one thing, new homes provide construction jobs. you need a whole lot of people to build a house from the ground up. plus, new homes are often more expensive than existing ones. so when you see these sales go up, that gives an idea that, you know, americans are feeling more confident these days. they're more willing to spend more money on their homes. also, typically gives lots of business to appliance and furniture stores, as well. you know, lately, you certainly see these sales going up, driven by these record-low mortgage rates. carol, freddie mac says a 30-year fixed rate is at 3.37%, and a lot of banks came out a couple weeks ago saying that they're doing a lot more lending, so this is all good news, as we move forward in the house recovery. carol? >> alison kosik, reporting live from the new york stock exchange. talkback question. do kaebts' comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? facebook.com/carolcnn. back in a minute.
candidates' comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? it's dejavu, not in a good way. when republicans thought they slammed the door on the so-called war on women, indiana senate candidate richard mourdock may have kicked it back open. >> i believe that life begins at conception. the only exception i have for -- to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. i just -- i struggled with it myself for a long time. but i came to realize, life is that gift from god, and i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> democrats called mourdock's comment a window into his extreme view of the world. and one man told "indianapolis star" he's no longer voting republican. after the debate, mourdock clarified his remarks. quote, god does not want rape and by no means was i suggesting he does. rape is a horrible thing. and for anyone to twist my words
otherwise is absurd and sick. ah, but here's the thing. mitt romney has endorsed mourdock. here it is, for all the world to see. >> this fall, i'm supporting mitch arrested mourdock for senate. as state treasurer, richard worked with daniels to balance the budget and make government more accountable. as senator, richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. richard will help stop the liberal reid/pelosi agenda. >> now romney is distancing himself from mourdock's latest comments, but don't expect him to run very far. he says mourdock's are way different than congressman todd akin. aiken talked about a magical uterus that could prevent pregnancy after rape. mourdock expressed his strong belief that god creates all live. what's unclear, whether any of this will affect the race between romney and obama. talkback question for you. do candidates' comments on rape
and abortion influence your vote? facebook.com/carolcnn. facebook.com/carolcnn. your comments, later this hour. hurricane season, of course, not over yet. residents in jamaica are getting ready for tropical storm sandy. it's getting stronger. and sandy could also cause halloween problems for you. [ male announcer ] when these come together, and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome.
coming up on 30 minutes past the hour. good morning to you, i'm carol costello. thank you for joining us. time to check our top stories. a new kennedy nephew faces his first parole hearing this morning. michael skakle has spent ten years in prison for the murder of a teenage neighbor, martha mocsly. three new drugs related to
the meningitis outbreak are being tested for contamination. health officials say the contamination may have occurred in the testing process, rather than at the compounding center. 23 deaths are blamed on the meningitis outbreak. and say fwb to freshman. at the university of north carolina, the school will no longer refer to new students as freshmen, and instead use more, quote, gender-inclusive language like fresh persons. i'm just kidding. they are going to use the term "first-year students." we are in the home stretch of the election season and both campaigns are out in full force today, hitting the swing states hard. but some new polls show president obama's support among white voters is falling. in a new column for the national journal, ron braunstein noted, president obama needs to have at least 40% support for white voters, and at least 80% of all minorities to win. and right now, the least among
those white voters, at least among white voters, i should say, that is certainly not happening. it's also worth mentioning, mitt romney's poll numbers among african-americans and hispanics are by no means strong. so what does this mean? joining me now, cnn contributors he will see grandderson and john avalon, cnn contributor, and he is independent. good morning to both of you guys. >> good morning, carol. >> good morning. >> i'll just be blunt, elzi, do these numbers mean it's white men versus everyone else? >> boy, that is pretty blunt. the democrats have a problem. they have a messaging problem. the fact is, those numbers in terms of that recent story you talked about reflects a trend that's been happening much of longer than just what's been going on in 2012. in 2010, democrats only received 37% of the white vote. and so what we're beginning to see is the republicans are becoming increasingly white, and democrats are increasingly losing white people. they're maintaining the
minorities, but losing whites, and it's the message -- something they're doing as a party that is not appealing to the white voter. and so it isn't just about president obama. it's about the platform. >> okay. so john, you worked on the guiliani campaign. what's the messaging problem that democrats have? >> well, i think it's a demographic problem for both parties. the democratic party has beenlution white voters since the late 1960s but this is rooted in something very real. lyndon johnson, when he signed the voting rights act in 1964, said to boil moyers, i just lost the south for your generation and mine. it is a historic irony. the strongest core of support in the former states of the confederacy. race has always been a fundamental dividing line in american politics, carol. and one of the promises of president obama's election was we would start to transcend these old divides. we are becoming a more tie dye verse country.
this is a long term democrat graphic problem. we don't want to see our politics divided by race going no the future. that is not healthy or sustainable for a nation as large and diverse as we are. and this election is shaping up along these fault lines. that's unhealthy and i hope that trend is reversed for the sake of a country, not particularly any one candidate. >> so lz, this time around -- >> carol -- >> go ahead. >> oh, i was going to say, john is absolutely right. in the south, three states have all white republicans in the house and all black democrats in the house. and a fourth in jorn george, only one white democrat maintaining. a lot of it has to do with the redistricting that has happened. i tend to think it's also a messaging issue, as well. >> and it's not so good that mitt romney is polling so poorly among minorities, either. i mean, that's not a good thing either, right, john? >> no. >> lz, go ahead. >> no. the question is getting browner as john said. and so republicans cannot rely
on white people to help them maintain their status of power. they also have to figure out a way in which they can, you know, attract or reattract latino voters, but also open up a conversation with the african-american voters and not just conceding to the democrats. i don't know why they do that. i know mitt romney has really avoided heavy urban areas in terms of his campaign. he talks about being a son of detroit. i think the dude showed up in detroit once. he has been in the suburbs, but hasn't been in detroit where the black people are. so they too need to address, how can they reach minorities, because they can't sustain the power relying only on white voters in a browning country. >> and john, the republicans don't seem to be doing that, becoming more conservative, in ways that turn off minority voters. >> that's right. it's become more conservative, and more white. this is a party that was the party of lincoln. it has a lot of pioneering advanc advances. the first african-american of the u.s. senate was ed brook, a republican from massachusetts in the early 1960s.
but once that bargain was made affidavit civil rights act was passed by lyndon johnson, a democrat, traditionally folks most hostile, the fault lines start shifting. so the republican party has got to reach out again. it's worth saying, they have made a lot of progress in statewide governors. you know, in reaching out, whether it's a bobby jindal, brian sandoval -- >> let's switch it around. does that mean the democratic party has to reach out to white voters? >> yeah. both parties need to reach out beyond their base. we do not have an interest in this country. it is dangerous as a country to have a political system, political parties divided along racial or religious lines. that does not reflect who we are. it is a long-term loser for both parties. and a long-term loser, more importantly for the country. so both parties have to reach out more aggressively. it's part of -- what we're seeing is partly the prod polarization, and ignoring folks who lay outside that. so both parties need to be more aggressive in reaching out to achieve real diversity, and
ultimately that will mean more competitive elections, not the elections too often determined as lz said, with the rigged system of redistricting, compounding the problem. >> john avalon, lz grandderson, thanks for discussing this, because i know it's a touchy subject. i enjoyed the conversation. thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. some trick or treaters in the northeast might need rain boots or maybe even a winter coat for halloween, depending on the track of tropical storm sandy, bearing down now in jamaica. winds near 70 miles per hour, forecast to become a hurricane later today before it heads to cuba. after that things could get interesting. meteorologist rob marciano is here to tell us how interesting. >> that word. it's kind of a euphemism in the weather world for not so good weather. a number of options we're dealing with, with tropical storm sandy. let's first off deal with the immediate impacts. and that is, a likely hurricane to make landfall across the southern shores of jamaica later this afternoon. big-time rain and wind, devastating floods, potentially there and across eastern parts of cuba.
70 miles per hour sustained winds and we get to 75 and 74 and that makes it a hurricane status. so the track of this thing will bring it across eastern cuba. tropical storm watches now posted for southeast florida, meaning tropical storm conditions possible in the next 48 hours. because it will be close enough for if a wind field and the wind and the rain and the waves to impact south florida. here's the forecast tract of the national hurricane center. likely a tropical storm by friday morning, early in the bahamas east of florida by about 100 or so miles. then we get up into the northern latitudes. and this time of year, we get a stronger jet stream, typically these things want to get pushed out to sea. but if this jet dips just a little bit farther to the south, and maybe holds off a little bit, might pull this thing a little bit farther to the north. two scenarios. one is out to sea, which would be what we would expect this time of year. but another scenario is that a piece of energy potentially gets pulled in, and makes this a very, very strong nor'easter type of hybrid hurricane into the northeast.
computer models saying that. round about halloween, pretty far off, and kind of a crapshoot at this point, but a distinct possibility. carol? >> just send your kids out as the morton salt girl, and you'll be fine. >> see you, carol. >> that was weak, i know. rob, thank you. he directed "titanic" and "avatar" and now there is a another movie on this director's hit list. full-size pickups on the road. so, what do you think? [ engine revs ] i'll take it. [ male announcer ] it's chevy truck month. now during chevy truck month, get 0% apr financing for 60 months or trade up to get the 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $8,000. hurry in before they're all gone! i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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as if two "avatar" sequels were not enough, james cameron is picking up another project, the big-screen version of the novel "the informationist." aj hammer has you covered on all things hollywood and cameron. so what is this book? shts first of all, i'm not sure where james cameron gets the time, carol. this was announced by his production company, the plan to develop the company after he wraps up the "avatar" trilogy, a
potential franchise for the director. if you're not familiar with "the informationists," it's about a specialtyist, a private eye in the modern era. two becomes in the series. the next one releasing next summer. the books and its protagonist have been compared to "the girl with the dragon tattoo." expectations are high for the franchise. if they wind up having that kind of popularity, this could be a fantastic situation for james cameron, but, again, how he works out in the schedule, i sat down with him a month ago, and the fact that he could squeeze in that interview shocked me. this guy is on the move. >> amazing. let's talk about something not so happy. another celebrity couple splitsville. >> yeah, sad to report this morning, eva longoria and mark sanchez have gone their separate ways. the "new york post" broke the news. a big picture of eva saying she broke mark's heart. seeing as how this relationship
really only lasted a few months, i have a feeling they'll both be okay. it does seem the 37-year-old actress and 25-year-old quarterback apparently just couldn't make their schedules jive. eva is pretty busy in hollywood and campaigning for president obama. sanchez is just trying to win some games here in new york. and there is no truth to the rumor, by the way, that eva is now dating the jets' back-up quarterback tim tebow. >> oh, that would have been great! >> that would have been quite a story. but as for the reaction to the news here in new york city, carol, i went to the biggest jets' fan i know, her name is jess, she works on the show biz tonight staff, and her reaction was good. now he can get back to work and focus on getting a ring. but republican selled due to scheduling conflicts, that could be a first, even for me. >> exactly. oh, i enjoyed that hit. thank you so much, aj. we appreciate it, as always. for the latest entertainment news, watch "showbiz tonight," 11:00 p.m. eastern on hln. this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> we're getting breaking news from wxia, a shooting at the world changers church. this church is huge. 30,000 parishioners, satellite churches across the nation. apparently a black man in his 30s walked into the church and opened fire. we understand one person -- let me make sure i'm telling you this right. details are still emerging. investigators know a person entered the church and started shooting. at least one person was hit. cpr was performed on the victim. i would assume that a victim is on his way to the hospital. a suspect, black man in his 30s wearing a suit and tie. we don't know if pastor creflo dollar was inside the church. with more information, we'll pass it on to you. 13 days to go, a presidential race that will seemingly go down to the wire,
some states are focusing on making sure every ballot cast is a legal one. some efforts are coming under scrutiny. in had ohio and wisconsin, this billboard is now coming down. after voters' rights groups claimed it was an attempt to intimidate minority voters. it was placed primarily in low-income minority neighborhoods. and in florida, some residents are scratching their heads after receiving letters questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote. for more on the controversy in florida, we want to bring in our crime and justice correspondent, joe johns. so joe, what do we know about these letters? >> well, carol, we've confirmed that the florida department of law enforcement and the united states postal inspectors have opened a preliminary investigation into the letters, supposedly sent from county election supervisors to people in about two dozen florida counties over the last several days. these letters were sent in the u.s. mail to addresses in florida, questioning the citizenship status and eligibility of registered voters. want to read you the warning the
letter gave. failure to submit this form within 15 days will result in the removal of your name from the voter registration rolls, not true, and you'll no longer be eligible to vote. a nonregistered voter may be subject to arrest and imprisonment and sanctions. we spoke to the republican secretary of state, and he told us he's trying to get the word out about these letters and he also is pledging to find out whoever did this. listen. >> i expect the number to go up, and we are very serious about this matter. this type of effort to intimidate voters in florida is unacceptable, will not be tolerated. and we anticipate taking every measure possible with law enforcement to make sure the individuals doing this are prosecuted. >> but there isn't too much evidence to go on right now. at least so far, carol. the letters are no return address, only a postmark on the envelope from seattle, washington. >> so who got the letters?
>> this is just people that -- republicans, a lot of republicans, we're told. the state -- the secretary of state detsner said they have gone out to voters of both parties. but several election supervisors we spoke with said most of the people who received them were registered republican voters. ion sancho says he has learned three letters went out under his name. he thinks politically active republicans are being targeted. listen to him. >> i suspect that whoever sending out these letters has purchased some kind of a donor or campaign list that's given him a group of high-profile republicans, and i suspect they're sending this letter to them probably to do some kind of dark-humored spoof. which, of course, is not very funny, and the individuals who are receiving these letters are
sometimes very, very, very disturbed, which i think is probably the whole purpose for this letter. >> now, ion sancho said he turned the letter over to federal prosecutors. they haven't made a decision whether to open an investigation. they call for the recipient to report directly to the county election office so whoever did this apparently wanted somebody to know about it. >> wow. joe johns, thanks so much. bobby valentine may be gone as the red sox manager, but he's still talking about his time there and now pointing the finger at big papi.
to the mound, justin verlander for game one. verlander has been dominant this postseason with a 3-0 record and 25 strikeouts in 24 innings. the giants will counter with barry zito who shut down the cardinals last week. san francisco has won zito's last 13 starts. something has to give tonight. two ball clubs making moves after disappointing seasons, marlins fired guillen. he told "time" magazine he admired fidel castro. on the field, the team played poorly, and fans stayed home. and another 93 loss team has made a change. the boston red sox have hired their former pitching coach, john farrell, as manager. the ex toronto skipper replaces valentine, who like guillen, was fired after just one season. and speaking of bobby valentine, he went on nbc sports networks "costas tonight" taking blame for the red sox abysmal season
but also pointed a finger at sox slugger david ortiz. this is the quote. david ortiz came back after spending six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was going to be a week. he got two hits, drove in a couple runs and we're off to the races. then he realized this trade meant we're not going to run this race, and we're not even going to finish the race properly, and he decided not to play anymore. i think at that time it was all downhill from there. and don't you know it, the red sox are now working to sign ortiz to a two-year contract. red sox gm ben cherington rejected valentine's remarks, saying he has no concerns about big papi's commitment. it's a soap opera in boston. that's a look at sports this morning. on to our talkback question. do candidates' comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? facebook.com/carolcnn. i'll be back. anncr: every president inherits challenges.
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. do candidates' comments on rape and abortion influence your vote? thanks for weighing in. this is from a. louise. please, are there not me important things in this country to worry about? there is no war on women. do you really believe that women in america are so stupid? this from kathleen. yes, as a survivor, it disgusts me these men have any position at all about rape or pregnancy as a result. i do not understand why men decide women's rights when they have no idea what it means to be raped or to be a woman. and from carla, i have a precious 20-year-old daughter the product of rape i endured in college. the rape was horrific, but she made my recovery so much more meaningful. richard mourdock supports life. please, continue the conversation. we've had such interesting and thoughtful answers to that question. facebook.com/carolcnn. thank you for your responses. and thank you for watching me this